Saturday, June 21, 2008
At this rate it'll be July before I get to June's birthstone but I couldn't resist these pieces of Turkish Delight. Zultanite comes from only one source in a remote area of Anatolia, Turkey. It's mined by hand with chisels and pick axes in the mountains at heights of 4000 feet. It also belongs to my favourite category of gems, the colour change stones which show different views under different light sources, such as sunlight or indoor light.
Zultanite has durability, colour saturation, light play or scintillation. Its mineral name "Diaspore" comes from the Greek word "diaspora" to scatter. The kiwi greens with canary flashes in sunlight can change to pink raspberry hues in candlelight. The faceted stone can also show khaki, sage green, cognac pink, rich champagne, canary yellow or ginger in incandescent or candescent light. Like all colour change gems, the larger the Zultanite the more visible the colour change.
Zultanite has a double life as a gemstone. A few specimens show Chatoyancy, the cat's eye effect. It's a reflection that appears as a single bright band of light across the surface, caused by parallel inclusions in the stone.
The gem wasn't faceted until the late seventies and is still extremely rare in jewellery. The stone is very difficult to cut even by experienced cutters. Each crystal has to be orientated to get the best of its colour change and 98% of the crystal can be lost during the cut. Faceted Zultanite over 5 carat size is very rare.
As with all gems, it has esoteric properties attributed to it. If you want to believe, Zultanite can assist in the development of psychic power, astral force, ambition, intellect, desire and emotions.
It's definitely on my want list.